Make cyber systems secure, Antony tells forces

Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday asked the armed forces top brass to work in unison and make cyber systems "as secure and as non-porous as possible".

Updated: May 17, 2010, 15:08 PM IST

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of several instances of cyber security breach by Chinese hackers coming to the fore, Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday asked the armed forces top brass to work in unison and make cyber systems "as secure and as non-porous as possible".

"Cyber warfare is becoming a serious threat to security. The paradigm of security in the age of Information Technology are seldom constant. The evolving security matrix is complex and calls for cooperation and coordination of the highest level," Antony said inaugurating the biannual Army Commanders` Conference here.

"Today, no single service can work in isolation. Cyber warfare and threats to cyber security are fast becoming the next generation of threats. We need to make our cyber systems as secure and as non-porous as possible," he said.

Making a strong plea for synergy among the three forces, the Defence Minister said the future security matrix called for a high-degree of cooperation and inter-dependence among the services.

He said the primary area of focus should be to develop a force capable of operating in joint network centric environment.

"Besides these, the other emerging areas that warrant synergised development are space, Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC), cyber warfare capabilities, air defence, rotary wing
assistance, precision munitions, standoff targeting and missiles, communication systems, logistics and joint training," he said.

Noting that significant progress had been made towards accomplishing synergy in various operational training and administrative facets among the three services, Antony said there were a number of areas of congruence that needed to be strengthened further.

Referring to the modernisation plans of the armed forces, he said it was in the long-term national interest that India became self-reliant in the field of critical defence equipment.

Antony said modernisation plans encompassed force
modernisation and development of critical combat capabilities,
not only against potential adversaries, but across the
spectrum of conflict.

"Modernisation of the armed forces wholly depends
upon the capital acquisition plan. However, the acquisition of
critical technologies from foreign countries is subject to
various technology denial regimes and the prevailing global
geo-political situation," he added.

Antony said the Defence Public Sector Undertakings were
today at a threshold, capable of undertaking design and
development work as also to come up with product upgrades on
their own.

"Despite these achievements, we must guard against
complacency and must ceaselessly work towards more value
addition, product support and serviceability of the supplies
made to the end-users -- the services. It is the collective
responsibility of all DPSUs to optimise cost-effectiveness and
adhere to time and cost targets," he added.

The four-day conference presided by Army Chief General VK Singh -- the first after he took over -- would debate on organisational matters such as cadre restructuring and
operational capability.

Among the presentations to the commanders during the
conference would be those on the status and review of its
systems on which an internal study had been done earlier,
general cadre appointments and teeth-to-tail ratio of its
weapon systems and men, changes to be brought about in the
cadet selection for National Defence Academy, Ex-servicemen
Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and transformation of
military police establishment in the Army.